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August 12, 2014

Just best to stay out of Reed’s way when he’s rolling like this.

So, just to note that while the full schedule of dates, times and TV appearances have yet to be released; ESPN did announce their Big Monday schedule. Pitt gets two appearances on the ACC slate.

January 19, 7pm at Duke

February 16, 7pm at Virginia

Disappointing not to get a home Big Monday game, but Pitt is featured in 2 of the 8 ACC Big Monday games. The same number of appearances as Duke. UNC and Virginia each have three appearances. Louisville and Syracuse make only one appearance each. Not too bad for a team that will be considedred 6th to 8th in the ACC preseason polling (some combination of Virginia, Louisville, Duke, UNC and Cuse will be most prognosticators top-5).

I find this college basketball hatemap to be about right.


Pitt goes to the Bahamas and romps through the opponents and its mostly jokes about the opponents fitting right in with the non-con.

Kentucky is next to go through the Bahamas and people are covering them and actually treating the games like they matter. That’s a key difference when you have an insane fanbase, a network getting going (SEC Network/ESPN) with a lot of money and promo power to start support early, and a preseason top-5 team.

Seth Davis visited Pitt and talked to Pitt. Especially on the perennially weak non-con.

Finally, I had to press Dixon on his much-criticized scheduling philosophy. Last season, Pitt’s nonconference schedule was ranked 215th in the country. Its best win outside the ACC came over Stanford on a neutral court. Dixon managed to defend himself without sounding defensive. Mostly, he sounded surprised – and flattered – that his program was being held to the same standard as bluebloods like Michigan State, Kentucky and Kansas, which regularly put together murderous nonconference slates.

To be fair, Dixon has regularly entered Pitt in a high-end early season tournament like the Maui Invitational, which it is playing in next season. When a coach commits to those events, he usually does not know which other teams will be in the field. Also, like the rest of the coaches in the ACC, Dixon has no say in which opponents his team will face in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Last year, the Panthers played Penn State, which they beat at home, 78-69. “If we get Michigan for that game, people look at our schedule differently,” he said.

There’s also the annual game against Duquesne, which Dixon rightly feels obligated to play. Beyond that, well, it’s not like teams are itching to schedule home-and-home series to visit the Petersen Events Center, where Pitt has compiled one of the top five home winning percentages in the country. Dixon laughed as he recounted a conversation he had last year with a Big East coach whom he’d called to try to set up a home-and-home series. “How many times do I have to tell you?” the coach replied. “We’re not f—— playing you.”

I don’t know who the coach was. My guess is that Pitt would have been most eager to do home-and-homes with either St. John’s (NYC/MSG/etc.) or Villanova. And I can also see both schools not wanting that. Hard feelings aside, not wanting to let Pitt have more chances to recruit in their backyard would be a big deterrent.

Sorry, this is a football link. Well done by the university.
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Comment by notrocketscience 08.12.14 @ 6:52 am

Big Monday more fun at home but congrats for getting two. Should help recruiting, especially if we win.

Would Temple play a home and away, state related school and all. WVU would help the non-com. How about we play at ConSol every year? PSU would help a little, are they still afraid to play us?

Comment by gc 08.12.14 @ 7:39 am

I realize this would never happen, but there is a way to go to those recruiting cities, and get a smidgen of revenge against, say Villanova or St.Johns (if it was them) for not playing us.

Don’t even have to do a home and home, because you can always get your home games from any ol’ team.

Go into Manhattan, or Fordham, someone like that and play them at their gym, ala, Kentucky going into Robert Morris.

Play St. Joe’s or LaSalle in Philly.

Who knows, I would imagine ESPN would probably put it on tv, so it may not be as much as a money loser as I earlier thought.

At least before it became trendy, and a lot of other big schools started doing it, and it was still a novelty, ESPN would probably air it.

Wouldn’t be enough home team fans, nor travel fans to move it to MSG, besides, that would take away from the novelty.

Could you imagine the ST. John’s coaches when they found out Pitt is coming in to Manhattan’s gym for a game??

How about the ‘Nova coaches when they learned that Pitt was coming in to play Drexel at their gym??

Comment by Dan 08.12.14 @ 8:32 am

Pitt can get a home and home with a lot of credible teams if they wish. I’m a big fan of JD but not here — I’ve never bought into his BS about not being able to attract attractive non-cons, whe we know for a fact that there is a willing participant just 90 minutes away (and I’ll guarantee the Hoopies aren’t the only ones.)

Comment by wbb 08.12.14 @ 9:00 am

Dan –

I like the idea of playing in the bigger markets against some smaller schools (i.e. Temple, Fordham, LaSalle, etc.). There is no shame in not scheduling a home-and-home because if push comes to shove, Pitt could get a solid home game against someone whenever they want. It might not be a home-and-home against, say, Nova, but there is no way we can’t get a solid home game in a pinch if we needed it.

In a lot of ways, playing away at, for example, Fordham, would help with the NCAA tourney. A solid team in a somewhat hostile environment (this would be named school’s big game) who is throwing every punch they have at you for an upset. Not bad IMHO. It would be a good learning lesson.

Comment by JAM05PITT 08.12.14 @ 9:22 am

@JAM, ya, when Kentucky came to Moon Twp to play Bobby Mo, the excitement level was incredible out there.

Now, if everyone started doing it, then the novelty might wear off, but right now, I think it would be wild.

Pitt would certainly get a lot of pub doing it.

Ya, go into the Bronx and play Fordham at their gym!!!

If you watch some of the conference tourney finals at some of those places, the places are rockin’, as would be for a major power coming into their gym.

Comment by Dan 08.12.14 @ 10:01 am

Don’t think playing at Draddy Gym { Manhatten} is in Pitts future. Maybe Rose Hill, close to Jamie’s childhood home.

Comment by alcofan 08.12.14 @ 2:38 pm

Good thinking Dan, you might be on to something.

Comment by gc 08.12.14 @ 3:23 pm

Kentucky didn’t schedule a game at RMU. That was the dopey tournament that they didn’t want to be in anyhow, as I recall

Comment by PittPat 08.12.14 @ 4:32 pm

@PittPat You are correct It was the NIT tournament.

Kentucky lost Nerlon Noels during the season & didn’t make the NCAA’s. They were a number 1 seed in the NIT but couldn’t play at home due to the either construction or renting out there arena.

Since the NIT is an ESPN broadcasts, Calapari arranged to play Bobby Mo to set up a homecoming of sorts.

Obviously, Bobby Mo ruined the occasion for KY (and to the delight of KY hating BB fans).

I believe KY learned not to count their NCAA eggs until they are hatched.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 08.12.14 @ 6:13 pm

Tyrone Haughton says on twitter that he will be arriving in Pittsburgh next Saturday:

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Comment by Howard 08.15.14 @ 5:05 am

Good post Howard!

Comment by Zaratoughda 08.15.14 @ 8:37 pm

But, he probably won’t be able to practice with the team until training camp opens… which should be early October.

Comment by Zaratoughda 08.15.14 @ 8:39 pm

Very interested to see what happens with Haughton.

I’m not thrilled with the other options at five. Randall is adequate at best, can give you some defense and rebounding. Uchebo still isn’t anywhere near 100%. He won’t be able compete at the ACC level without a major improvement in his mobility. And Young is not a five. Starting him there would hurt two positions.

Maybe it’s because we haven’t seen him play, he’s a tableau blanc, and we haven’t seen his flaws, we can all project what we want to see on him. My HOPE is that he is a springy athlete who can block shots, defend the post and relentlessly grab rebounds, which is, not coincidently, exactly what Pitt needs from a five this year. And even if he’s all that, how quickly can he learn Pitt’s stuff?

Keeping my fingers crossed, but not holding my breath.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 08.20.14 @ 12:00 pm

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